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6 Satisfying Vegan Smoothies

Good to the Last Dairy-Free Drop

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When you make a smoothie, you don’t want it to leave you rummaging through your desk drawers for a snack an hour later. And while ice and frozen fruit add richness for few (or no) calories, you really need protein, which can present a challenge for vegans who avoid soy. Nuts, seeds, and oats can make surprisingly tasty and fairly high-protein smoothies, though.

These drinks, created by Brendan Brazier, formulator of the clean plant-based nutrition company Vega, are made from nutrient-dense ingredients so you sip down energy-boosting, disease-fighting fuel, not empty sugary calories.

Ginger Pear Smoothie

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“This shake is ideal for recovery from an injury or extended-duration workout,” Brazier says. In addition to anti-inflammatory ginger, the flax and hemp contain alpha linolenic acid, an omega 3 that also combats inflammation.

Ingredients:
1 cup water
1 tablespoon ground flaxseed
1/2 tablespoon hemp seeds
2 tablespoon chopped fresh ginger
1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk
1/2 banana
1/2 pear
1 cup spinach

Directions:
Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.

Nutrition score per serving: 256 calories, 12g protein

Spicy Mango Lime Smoothie

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Good things come in small packages, such as hemp seeds: Just 2 tablespoons of these tiny guys packs all nine essential amino acids, fiber, healthy fats, and almost 7 grams of protein. If you tend to prefer things mild, don’t skip the jalapeno in this recipe—replace the banana with 1/2 avocado and you’ll still get the pepper’s metabolism-boosting benefits.

Ingredients:
1/2 freshly squeezed lime
1/2 banana
1/2 cup diced frozen mango
1/4 jalapeno, chopped
1 cup almond milk
1 tablespoon flaxseed
2 tablespoons hemp seeds

Directions:
Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.

Nutrition score per serving: 312 calories, 10.5g protein

Raspberry Walnut Smoothie

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The walnuts in this shake provide heart-healthy fats and about 4.5 grams of protein, as well as potassium and magnesium, essential electrolytes for muscle function, Brazier says.

Ingredients:
1/2 banana, frozen

1/4 cup walnuts

1 cup unsweetened almond milk

1 tablespoon cacao nibs

1 teaspoon vanilla
1/3 cup frozen raspberries

Directions:
Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.

Nutrition score per serving: 430 calories, 8g protein

Apple Pie Smoothie

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This liquid comfort food is good for you too. The fiber from the oats and apple will hold you over until your next meal, while the ice keeps it nice and satisfyingly thick without adding calories.

Ingredients:
1/2 cup organic rolled oats, soaked overnight in water and drained of excess liquid
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 tablespoon almond butter
1/2 apple, diced
1/2 cup unsweetened coconut milk (such as So Delicious Dairy Free)
1 cup ice cubes
1/2 cup water

Directions:
Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.

Nutrition score per serving: 354 calories, 11g protein

Blueberry Rooibos Smoothie

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Green rooibos tea combined with blueberries supplies a potent dose of daily antioxidant support, Brazier says. The caffeine-free tea has a light, woody, slightly sweet flavor that’s accented by the fruit.

Ingredients:
2 cups green rooibos tea, steeped and chilled
1 1/2 cups frozen blueberries
1 tablespoon flaxseed
1 tablespoon hemp seeds
1/2 banana

Directions:
Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.

Nutrition score per serving: 255 calories, 7g protein

Coffee Cashew Smoothie

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The creamy texture in this decadent drink comes courtesy of the cashews, which also add 5 grams of protein to help keep your blood sugar—and hunger—steady, Brazier says.

Ingredients:
1/4 cup cashews, soaked six hours or overnight
1/2 banana, peeled and chopped (frozen optional)
1 tablespoon cacao nibs
1/2 cup Ice
1/4 cup cooled coffee
1 cup unsweetened almond milk
1/2 tablespoon coconut sugar (optional)

Directions:
Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.

Nutrition score per serving: 361 calories, 7.5g protein

For more advice from Brazier on how to transform your health through plant-based nutrition, visit ThriveForward.com.